Having been dropped from India's Test squad midway through the just concluded five-match series in England, right-hand opening batsman Murali Vijay is enjoying a rich reign of form in the ongoing County Championship for Essex.
Contracted to play the last three first-class games of the season, Vijay struck his fourth successive 50+ score for his team.
Vijay's another very fine knock of 80 from 127 balls, alongside Tom Westley's unbeaten 93, put Essex in a dominating position against the current Championship winners Surrey at The Oval.
Vijay shared a 146-run stand with Westley for the second wicket as Essex reached 197 for 2 after simply running through Surrey for just 67 in the first session itself. Earlier Surrey surprisingly chose to bat first in tough conditions, only to see fast bowlers James Porter and Samuel Cook pick up four wickets each quite cheaply.
Though the Indian opener could only manage 26 runs across 4 innings against England, he has been in outstanding form since then with scores of 56 and 100 against Nottinghamshire and an 85 against Worcestershire before again exhibiting his brilliance versus Surrey.
The Monk hasn't given up yet.
(Inputs from Cricket Next)